IPL 2016: Mumbai Indians Thrash RCB


New Delhi: Mumbai Indians registered their second win of the season, in the fifth game, as they chased down 171-run target in 18 overs to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets in Game 14 of the ongoing Indian Premier League season nine at the Wankhede stadium on Wednesday. Rohit Sharma led the chase from the front with a well made 62 off 44 balls, hitting three sixes and four boundaries, and putting on crucial 76 runs for the second wicket with Ambati Rayudu.

The victory was also helped by the late assaults, first by Jos Buttler (28) and later by Keiron Pollard (40 not out) as they won the match comfortably with six wickets and two overs to spare. Pollard finished off in style, hitting back-to-back fours off Shane Watson, and remained unbeaten on 40 off 19 balls smashing three sixes and four boundaries.

After sent in to bat first, RCB too needed a late-order assault by Travis Head and Sarfaraz Khan, who put on quick-fire 63 runs for the fifth wicket, to post a challenging total of 170/7, but it turned out to be insufficient in the end.

After losing Pathiv Patel early in the second over to Kane Richardson, Rohit and Rayudu stabalised the chase as they took Mumbai to 51/1 after Powerplay overs. They added another 30 in the next four overs to steadily take their team to 81/1 in ten overs, which included two consecutive fours from Rayudu off Harshal Patel. But two balls later, Iqbal Abdulla gave RCB a crucial break as he dismissed Rayudu for 31, scored off 23 balls with five fours.

Rohit then took the lead as he raced to fifty off 38 balls and immediately after reaching the landmark in the 12th over, the Mumbai skipper loosened up with a six and a four in the next Abdulla over but mistimed one soon to give AB de Villiers a regulation catch at long-off. Abdulla got his second wicket as Rohit fell for 62 off 44 balls after smashing three maximums and four fours. After that, Buttler and Pollard made sure that the chase was not hindered as they hit some big shots. Buttler smacked two sixes and two fours in his 14-ball 28 before becoming Abdulla’s third victim, who finished with three for 40 in the end.

Earlier, the course of the RCB innings changed quite a few times with the visitors going strong till the half-way mark, when skipper Virat Kohli and De Villiers were batting, but Mumbai bowlers fought back in the next five. RCB again took control in the last five overs with Head and Sarfaraz smacking two sixes each, as they finished their innings on a high. Head was run-out in the final over after scoring 37 off 24 balls and Sarfaraz was caught by Krunal Pandya off Jasprit Bumrah three balls later for 28 off 18. Bumrah took the wicket of Stuart Binny in the penultimate ball to finish with three for 31.

After RCB raced to 89/1 riding on Kohli-de Villiers partnership, Krunal’s double-wicket 11th over, in which he got the prized scalps of the duo, changed the direction of the game in favour of the hosts Mumbai. Bangalore couldn’t come out of the jolt and lost wickets in a heap, as they nose-dived to 99/4 in 13.3 overs from 89/1 in 10 overs. Krunal finished with figures of two for 27 in four overs.

RCB started cautiously amid some brilliant opening spells from Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan as they managed just 15 off the first three overs. The surprised RCB opener KL Rahul then changed the gear and smacked back-to-back sixes followed by a four off McClenaghan, who hit the Karnataka batsman on the helmet with his first ball of the innings in the second over. Rahul hit the first maximum of the innings over extra cover, before guiding the next over the keeper and followed that up with a boundary in the fine leg. But he played too many shots in the over as he edged the next ball to Harbhajan Singh in the slip, giving McClenaghan the last laugh and the first breakthrough of the day. Rahul scored 23 off 14 balls which included two sixes and two fours in his brief cameo upfront.

After that, Kohli and De Villiers started scoring freely and took RCB to 49/1 after the Powerplay overs. The duo keep scoring boundaries regularly and put on another 40 runs in the next four overs to take their team to 89/1 at the half-way mark. But Krunal led the Mumbai fightback with double strikes to reduce RCB to 93/3 after 11 overs. Kohli was the first to go, caught by Southee at long-off, followed by De Villiers four balls later – stumped trying to charge the spinner. Kohli scored 33 off 30 balls which included three fours as he missed the chance to equal the record of five consecutive fifties in T20s. De Villiers on the hand post 29 off 21 balls after hitting a six and three fours.

RCB lost another wicket in the form of experienced Shane Watson, who struggled to open up and managed five runs in 10 balls, to Bumrah as keeper Parthiv Patel took a diving catch on the right. RCB stuttered to 112/4 in 15 overs, that’s 23 in five overs with the fall of three quick and big wickets. But the arrival of Head and Khan changed the course of the match again.

Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 171/4 (Rohit Sharma 62, Keiron Pollard 40*; Iqbal Abdulla 3/40) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 170/7 (Travis Head 37, Virat Kohli 33; Jasprit Bumrah 3/31) by six wickets